tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC February 12, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
>> mike: thank for joining us. world news is next. welcome to "world news." tonight, the death of whitney howes. houston. the latest on the investigation here. what was found in that hotel room. and late word today, houston's daughter was rushed to the hospital. we also remember that singular sound, that voice. ♪ and i >> and whitney houston in her own words tonight, that candid and revealing interview with diane sawyer. the singer so wanted to conquer her struggles. also this sunday night, the bishops' backlash. the catholic church with a new message for the president. a brand-new turn in that birth control battle. the new science tonight about how much we eat and how much we remember. the powerful new link between diet and memory loss. and at the end of the broadcast here, the star-spangled superstar. that moment whitney houston roused the nation. ♪ and the home of the brave
and good evening on this sunday night. we begin here remembering that soaring, sensational voice after learning of the death of whitney houston. that giant voice first heard from houston as a young girl singing in her mother's church choir. a teenager on the verge of worldwide stardom. whitney houston's struggles would also become part of her story, and in a moment here, the music, the moments that so moved the american audience and her brave and candid words with our diane sawyer. but first tonight the latest on the investigation. we now know pills were found inside whitney houston's hotel room. authorities say the autopsy is coming, and late today we learned whitney houston's teenage daughter was rushed to a los angeles hospital overwhelmed by stress and anxiety. we begin here with abc's cecilia vega outside the beverly hilton tonight. cecilia? >> reporter: good evening,
david. the los angeles medical examiner's office is investigating whitney houston's death at this hour. an autopsy and toxicology tests are under way, this as questions continue to mount about what happened here at the beverly hilton. abc news has learned a variety of pill bottles were found inside houston's fourth floor room at the legendary hotel. separate reports say they were pills like sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping aids. ♪ i decided long ago >> reporter: the once fresh faced, golden voiced music legend was reportedly found by her hairdresser in a bathtub, her face underwater. authorities have not confirmed these reports or offered details since announcing her death yesterday. >> at 3:55 p.m. this afternoon, whitney houston was pronounced dead at the beverly hilton hotel. >> reporter: and today at the same hotel where houston died one day earlier, the singer's 18-year-old daughter, bobbi kristina, rushed to the hospital for an anxiety attack.
like so many of the final years of her life, houston's final days were clouded by questions about her sobriety. on thursday, news reports of erratic behavior. houston smells of alcohol, does handstands by the pool and skips around a ballroom. in the predawn hours of friday morning, a party at a hollywood nightclub. houston sings a duet with grammy nominee kelly price. it would become houston's final performance. these photos show a disheveled and angry houston leaving the show with what appears to be blood on her leg. she has to be escorted from the club, but friends say nothing seemed unusual. they say she was tired from the show. >> when i saw whitney thursday night, she was happy, she was celebrating. she looked fine. >> reporter: the next day houston's mother reportedly spoke to her daughter shortly before her death and said she sounded just fine. news reports also say houston's cousin, dionne warwick, had a similar conversation with her.
but then at 3:43 p.m. on saturday, someone from houston's entourage calls hotel security to report finding her lifeless body. paramedics arrive minutes later and try to resuscitate her with cpr to no avail. at 3:55 p.m., whitney houston is pronounced dead. last night whitney's ex-husband singer bobby brown gave an emotional good-bye to her during a concert in tennessee and today he is asking for privacy for their daughter bobbi kristina, whom, david, we learned was just released from the hospital. >> all right. that's good news. cecilia tonight, thanks so much. and so many people tonight looking beyond the investigation, remembering the voice, it was unequaled. ♪ if i should stay >> reporter: considered by so many to be the greatest voice of her generation -- ♪ i would only be -- >> reporter: -- whitney houston's sound was singular. ♪ -- in your way
>> reporter: all coming from that little girl who began singing in her mother's church in newark, new jersey. music was in her blood. the daughter of gospel singer cissy houston, her cousin, dionne warwick, her godmother aretha franklin and when famous music producer clive davis first heard whitney, he once told abc, to hear this young girl breathe such fire into songs, it sent a proverbial tingle up my spine. she first performed on "the merv griffin show" at just 19. ♪ i know you're listening god >> reporter: her debut album in 1985. ♪ so i'm saving all my love for you ♪ >> reporter: and then 1987 her album "whitney." ♪ yeah i want to dance with somebody ♪ >> reporter: 170 million albums and singles sold worldwide and would star in the movies too including "the bodyguard" and that one note. ♪ and i >> reporter: sent shivers and sent that song to number one, three grammys that year alone.
her marriage to singer bobby brown would bring a cherished daughter, but it would also bring those headlines, the tumult. ♪ it's not right but it's okay i'm going to make it anyway ♪ >> reporter: and that voice, that gift that seemed so effortless would begin to fade, damaged by drugs. and in a rare and candid sitdown diane sawyer asked about it and the silent struggles taking their toll. >> if you had to name the devil for you, the biggest devil among them. >> that would be me. nobody makes me do anything i don't want to do. it's my decision, so the biggest devil is me. i'm my best friend and my worst enemy. >> reporter: but it was just two years ago whitney houston with a new album and new hope of a comeback. ♪ as i lay me down heaven hear
me now ♪ >> reporter: hope from her fans that her struggles had been conquered. ♪ i look to you >> "i look to you," some powerful words in that song on her final album. whitney houston seemed so determined to overcome her struggles. she was brave and honest when she sat down with diane back in 2002. diane asking houston about those struggles and if the singer herself was worried. >> i grant you, i partied, but there have been times when i know i've been going through a lot of emotional stress, and my eating habits were awful. >> whitney dying, crack rehab fails. >> first of all, let's get one thing straight. crack is cheap. i make too much money to ever smoke crack. let's get that straight, okay. we don't do crack. we don't do that.
crack is whack. >> is it alcohol? is it marijuana? is it cocaine? is it pills? >> it has been at times. >> all? >> at times. >> how scared did you get? >> scared. when they said i had died, i did. i changed my mind. i changed my mind. yep, because i didn't want to look like the rest of them. i didn't want to be like them. it frightened me. >> do you think you came close? >> i think as close as anybody. i know folks that have come closer, but that's as close as i want to be. >> how sure are you that those bad days you talked about are
behind you? >> i know that i'm on the right path because i'm back home where i started in here. i can't tell you it's all going to be perfect, diane -- and i can't -- >> because everybody says it's day by day, day by day. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> but now do you say, not at all, or do you say i can -- >> well, i'm not going to tell you that. i could tell you that i am not self-destructive. i'm not a person who wants to die. i'm a person who has life and wants to live. >> so powerful to hear those words all these years later. whitney houston with diane in 2002. and i want to bring in our dr. richard besser. rich, you've been following this today. and you remember when we were watching her comeback a couple of years ago. we were all watching "good morning america," central park.
dancing with diane and robin. we were all pulling for her. but when you hear about the prescription drugs in that hotel room and we don't know what happened and you hear about multiple pills. you've reported on this before. the kind of things they can do to your body when they're mixed. >> that's right. every drug has side effects but when you combine drugs, you more than magnify those side effects, so what they'll be looking to see could a combination of drugs have had something to do with her stopping breathing and with her death. >> but her bravery there with diane several years back about addiction really shining a spotlight even for people who are far away from the camera who try to break the cycle. >> you know, what you tend to see is a pattern of recovery and relapse even when you have friends and family rooting for you. one failure doesn't mean you're not going to do it. but here in this case, that wasn't to be. >> that was hard. rich besser, thanks so much for following this too. whitney houston in her talent was in a league of her own, and tonight many of the artists who shared the pop charts with her are remembering her from barbra streisand to dolly parton to mariah carey,
and here's linsey davis now. ♪ and i >> reporter: it was at his pre-grammy party in 1983 when clive davis first introduced whitney houston to the music world. and it was the same event last night where the legendary producer celebrated her life. >> and she had a talent beyond compare. >> reporter: family, friends and fans all sharing one voice. oprah winfrey tweeted "to me whitney was the voice. we got to hear a part of god every time she sang." >> whitney houston! >> reporter: dolly parton who presented a grammy award to houston offered this, "mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of whitney houston." more than a voice, she was the inspiration to a new generation. >> you're talking about whitney here, and i'd be like -- ♪ i want to dance with somebody ♪ >> reporter: and from mariah carey. ♪ tennessee
>> reporter: who joined forces with houston after once rivaling her on the pop charts, she tweeted, "she will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth." and then there was this from barbra streisand, "how sad her gifts could not bring her the same happiness they brought us." a chorus of mourning for the loss of one of the greats. ♪ >> reporter: linsey davis, abc news, new york. >> our thanks to linsey tonight and later on tonight in this broadcast, that incredible moment when whitney houston took our breath away pulling our nation together. that's later here. but we do move on tonight to other news, and on this sunday, the catholic church delivered a new message to the president saying his change of course on birth control still is not enough. here's david kerley. >> reporter: the rift between the white house and the catholic church poured into the pews this sunday. >> the president is wrong in imposing his beliefs on all of us in terms of religion.
>> reporter: the president backed down friday. >> no religious institution -- >> reporter: now wanting insurance companies rather than religious groups to pay for contraceptive care. as part of health care reform. the catholic health association applauded the accommodation, even the church seemed encouraged on friday, but then the bishops blasted the white house for needless government intrusion and threatening coercion of religious people. republicans are ready for a fight. >> if this is what the president is willing to do in a tough election year, imagine what he will do in implementing the rest of his health care law after an election. >> reporter: but the president's chief of staff told abc's george stephanopoulos there will be no more compromises. >> we didn't expect that there would be universal support, but we do think this is the right way to go and it's a plan we'll proceed with. >> so who is going to pay for this? well, the white house says it won't cost insurers more money because providing birth control actually lowers costs overall for women's health care. david? >> so the battle continues. david kerley in washington, david, our thanks to you.
and we turn next to the campaign trail here, "your voice, your vote" tonight and mitt romney savoring a big back-to-back rebound after rick santorum's latest sweep. this time it was romney who took the maine caucuses with 39% and edged out ron paul and got a key nod from a powerful group of conservatives chose romney over santorum, 38% to 31% in the straw poll. romney has been going after santorum turning the tables on him questioning santorum's conservative credentials, but this morning on "this week" with george, santorum came out swinging. >> you reach a point where desperate people do desperate things, and i think governor romney now has -- you know, another candidate came up to challenge him, and this time he's having trouble finding out how to go after someone who is a solid conservative. >> santorum today on "this week" and the campaign focus now shifts to the next primary contest, arizona and michigan on the calendar next up. we turn overseas tonight and the note about the greek parliament. approving a controversial high stakes economic plan that saves the economy there. more than 100,000 demonstrators surging into the center of athens as the vote neared.
at least ten buildings were set on fire and police used tear gas against rioters and looters. the protesters were furious at the prospect of drastic economic cuts that are meant to save greece's economy and to keep it from dragging down the global economy with it. there is still much more ahead on "world news" this sunday. it is the dinner hour, of course, and tonight here the revealing new science showing how much you eat affects how much you remember. that one lone ticket tonight and one giant winner. and later here, that unforgettable moment when whitney houston united a nation. ♪ and the rockets' red glare [ male announcer ] from the soups you know and love
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in their study released tonight, more than a thousand volunteers, age 70 and older with no signs of alzheimer's reported what they ate and drank. the top third took in more than 2100 calories a day. the lower third, 600 to just over 1500 calories a day. the results, astonishing. >> the higher the daily caloric intake, the higher the score. >> reporter: they found the odds of having memory loss more than doubled for people eating the most food compared with people eating less. by consuming fewer calories the body doesn't have to produce as much insulin. when there is less insulin brain cells communicate better at a time when there's no proven medicine to preserve our memory we know simple lifestyle changes may offer the best protection to hold on to what we have. >> and deborah is with us now. one thing you pointed out there's still time to change course. >> all is not lost if you've gained too much weight. people who lost weight notice that their memories perked up.
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getting gbetter. didn't have a guaranteed contract before this past week. a story to keep watching. one powerball player is savoring a huge bit of luck tonight. tickets for the giant jackpot sold in 42 states but only one winning set of numbers bout in the tiny state of rhode island. no one stepped forward to claim it. whoever does is $336 million richer. with valentine's day this week a reunion between sweethearts 70 years in the making. betty is packing her bags ready to go from idaho to georgia to see her long lost love. she was just 16 when she fell for 17-year-old jack roche back in the '40s but they lost touch when he went to war and went on to marry other people. >> i never got over this guy in all this -- even though he's tucked away in a corner in my heart. >> said she never got over him. betty now widowed found jack again on the internet and learned he was a widower too. they've been talking on the phone. tonight she's on a flight flight to meet jack just in time for valentine's day. stay tuned. when we come back here, that
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nation on edge, even on a night when football is our escape. super bowl 1991 and one voice united us all. ♪ o say can you see >> reporter: 750 million watching worldwide but it was the end of that anthem that brought us to our feet. ♪ o say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave ♪
>> gives you the chills all these years later. in a sign of the enduring power of whitney houston's voice, we were on itunes today. we noted her album is the top album on itunes and "i will always love you" is the top song being purchased on itunes. people thinking of whitney houston tonight. that is the broadcast. diane sawyer joining the team on "gma" to report on this tomorrow. i'll see you soon. good night.
>> emotions running high as the music industry gathers for the grammys and to mourn whitney houston. >> los angeles coroners have complete the autopsy on whitney houston but they're not releasing the cause of death toxicology reports are completed. this is video of her final public performance at a los angeles nightclub. late saturday afternoon houston was found unresponsive in her beverly hilton hotel room. >> just comment she was found in the bathtub, and that was put out by beverly hills pd, i believe somebody removed her from the bath dispub the paramedics did cpr on